Pushing your Palm Treo around

April 5, 2007

Push Email on Palm Treos

I’m about to go on a 3-day vacation, and there’s a zillion things to do — so I gotta keep this brief.

There are three ways I know of that you can get push email on Palm Treo using the Palm Operating (Palm OS) System (like the Treo 650, 680, and 700p). “Push email” means “always-on” email — your mobile device gets email nearly immediately after it is sent by the sender. Emails are “pushed” to your mobile device by a server immediately upon arrival. The T-mobile Sidekick and most Blackberry accounts are good examples of devices using push email. “Pull email,” in contrast, have software on mobile devices that poll — or check — your mail server at pre-set intervals. For example, the email program on a Windows Mobile device, like the new T-Mobile Dash, checks for new emails at intervals of 15 minutes or more. Not quickly enough for me – I want my new email and I want it NOW!

Unfortunately, the Palm Treos using the Palm OS don’t have a good push-email solution built in. Three ways around this that I know of. If you know of more, let me know in the comments. The first method is what I’ve been using for a couple years now on my Treo 650, and which I really really find useful.

  • Chatteremail LogoChatter Email. This is simply the BEST email application for the Treo. Period. Hands down. On top of its excellence, it also offers push email with the right mail server. AND, it does push email “in the background,” even when the Treo is off. Simply excellent. So excellent, in fact, that the developer, Marc Blank, was recently hired away by Palm. That actually leaves this email program sorta in limbo — it probably won’t be developed anymore, but its current version is so excellent that it should be good for quite a while yet. It works best when you have an email server that supports IMAP technology — which allows for emails to stay in sync whether on your mobile device or on the email server. AOL is a good example of an email server with IMAP technology. I recommend fastmail.fm. That is, if you read an email on your Palm Treo, it would also appear as being read on AOL as well. And if you delete on AOL, it’d also be deleted on your Palm. Really cuts down on duplicate tasks! Yahoo Mail and Google Gmail, unfortunately, do not use IMAP technology. But if you INSIST on using them, you could set up forwarding to fastmail.fm, and then configure fastmail.fm and Chatter Email to make it look like you’re still emailing from Yahoo or Google. That’s actually what I do.
  • Consilient logoConsilient. This is a brand-new service that claims to provide push email directly to numerous mobile devices. Little set-up is required, which makes this solution very attractive. The Palm Treo 650 / 680 aren’t listed, although the Windows Mobile-equipped Treo 750v is. The free version would insert ads into your emails, and if you pay $5 a month (a bit expensive), then ads would be removed. I haven’t tried Consilient, so it’s possible it may work on Treos using Palm OS — let me know. (Thanks, Download Squad.)
  • Palm logoMicrosoft Exchange ActiveSync. This update for the Treo 650 / 680 / 700p makes the Treo capable of receiving push email via the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync. BUT, to use it, you’d have to make sure your computer already has Microsoft Exchange installed — which costs hundreds of dollars and involves a lot of maintenance. And then set up your computer so that your usual email program — i.e., Microsoft Outlook stays open all the time. Many businesses with IT departments do have this. I wouldn’t recommend this option for individual customers, even for myself.

Ok, I gotta go pack. Ta-ta. See you on Sunday or Monday.


One Response to “Pushing your Palm Treo around”

  1. […] 10th, 2007 If you want push email (see my recent post on this topic), for heaven’s sake, don’t get a smartphone that runs on Windows Mobile. […]

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